Substance Abuse and Mental Health in Pennsylvania

If you have been struggling with a mental health disorder in Pennsylvania, you might find yourself abusing alcohol and drugs in a bid to self-medicate. Although this practice could cause you to experience some relief from the symptoms and effects of your psychiatric illness, it could lead to the development of dependence, tolerance, and addiction. When this happens, you will be living with a dual diagnosis involving a substance use disorder as well as a co-occurring mental or behavioral health disorder.

Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders

There are many mental health disorders that you might struggle with while living in Pennsylvania. They include but are not limited to extreme mood swings, delusions, depression, and anxiety disorders.

These problems are so common that the BHT - the Behavioral Health Trends - research has found that tens of thousands of the residents of Pennsylvania struggle with mental illness and substance use disorders.

For patients living with a mental health disorder, more than 30 percent are also addicted to drugs and alcohol. on the other hand, over 50 percent of the people struggling with substance abuse and addiction also have a co-occurring mental health disorder.

When these disorders occur at the same time, it is also known as a dual diagnosis. If you have a dual diagnosis, it effectively means that you are struggling with a substance use disorder as well as a co-occurring behavioral or mental health disorders.

It can be difficult to tell which of these conditions started first. In some situations, you might start abusing drugs and drinking alcohol excessively because you are living with a mental health disorder that is causing you psychological pain. This form of substance abuse would be known as self-medication. Even though it might seem to work - at least in the short term - it could often give rise to the development of a substance use disorder as your use of drugs and alcohol continues going up.

On the other hand, you might abuse intoxicating and mind altering substances without having been diagnosed with any mental health disorder. In the course of your drug and alcohol abuse, you may find yourself struggling with the psychological symptoms of addiction - examples of which include hallucinations, out of body experiences, and depression. Eventually, you may even receive a diagnosis for a co-occurring mental health disorder over and above your addiction.

There are also situations in which you might already be predisposed to mental health disorders even before you start using these intoxicating substances. If you get involved with drugs and alcohol in such a situation, it is highly likely that you could develop an additional psychiatric condition.

Regardless of whichever between the addiction or the mental health disorder came first, it is important to keep in mind that these disorders will eventually start affecting and aggravating each other. They will also impact your life in many different - but mainly - negative ways.

Although substances can temporarily alleviate the symptoms of your mental distress, they will inevitably compound all the issues that you have been struggling with. It is for this reason that you need to seek dual diagnosis treatment services that are highly integrated to manage all the disorders that you have been struggling with.

Common Mental Health Problems Associated with Drug Abuse in Pennsylvania

According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are mental health disorders that are commonly associated with drug and alcohol abuse in Pennsylvania. These disorders include but are not limited to antisocial personality disorder, panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, manic depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

For instance, having an antisocial personality disorder means that you have 15 percent as high a risk of developing a substance use disorder. This risk is at 14.5 percent if you have ever struggled with a manic episode. It is also 10 percent high if you have been diagnosed with schizophrenia and 4.3 percent if you have a panic disorder. The risk is also 3 percent high if struggled with obsessive compulsive disorder at 2.1 percent in cases where you are struggling with phobias.

Let us assist you in getting help for you or your family member.
Call now and find out if treatment is right for you.


NAMI - the National Alliance on Mental Illness - also reports that about 33 percent of all the residents of Pennsylvania who are struggling with a mental health disorder also have a co-occurring substance use disorder involving alcohol and drugs.

SAMHSA - the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - on the other hand has reported that tens of thousands of people in this state have a dual diagnosis involving addiction and co-occurring mental illness.

Among these people, only about 7 percent seek treatment from an integrated dual diagnosis rehabilitation program. The rest of them do not seek such specialized treatment to manage all the disorders that they have been struggling with.

In 2018, it was also reported that over 12 percent of the entire population of Pennsylvania had been diagnosed with anxiety at one point or the other in their lives. This was an increase from the 11.3 percent of people who received such a diagnosis in 2016.

Depression is another common mental health disorder affecting the residents of this state. It was reported in the SAMHSA study, for instance, that more than 16 percent of Pennsylvanians live with a depressive disorder in 2019.

NAMI - the National Alliance on Mental Illness - also estimates that about 1 out of every 3 people living in Pennsylvania have a mental health illness. In the same report, it was also estimated that about 1 out of every 2 people in the state had a severe mental health disorder. In all of these situations, substance experimentation and abuse often ends up complicating the existing mental illness.

The CDC - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - has also reported that 12 percent of all the women in this state struggled with postpartum depression shortly after delivering their babies.

In the same report, it was shown that more than 60 percent of senior residents in the state above the age of 65 years - especially those living in a nursing home - were struggling with at least one mental health disorder, such as depression and dementia. Most of these people also struggle with underlying mental illnesses.

In 2011, the Mental Health America organization reported that 17.5 percent of the adults in the state were struggling with some form of a psychological illness. This was at a time when the national averages were at a rate of 18.2 percent.

While 20.8 percent of the residents of this state who seek treatment for mental illnesses find it prohibitively difficult to receive or even inaccessible, 20.3 percent of those living in America struggle with similar issues.

NIMH - the National Institutes of Mental Health - further reports that there are many mental health disorders that tend to be more common than others in the general population of Pennsylvania - including but not limited to among people who abuse drugs and drink alcohol. examples of these disorders include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder.

Additionally, the same report showed that over 1 million of all the adults living in this state struggled with severe psychiatric distress. Unfortunately, many of these people do not seek treatment services because they are not able to afford such services.

Types of Treatment

If you have been diagnosed with a dual diagnosis involving substance abuse and addiction as well as a co-occurring behavioral or mental health disorder, it is recommended that you look for an integrated dual diagnosis treatment and rehabilitation facility in Pennsylvania. This type of facility can help you get started on the road to recovery.

This form of treatment is recommended because research studies have pointed out that separate treatment does not always work successfully. In the past, there were mental health clinics offering psychiatric treatments as well as addiction rehabilitation centers that provided substance abuse recovery options.

Today, these two conditions are treated simultaneously. This is because they affect each other and each can potentially aggravate the other. For instance, your mental illness could cause you to continue abusing drugs and alcohol even after seeking treatment for your addiction. On the other hand, your continued substance abuse and addiction could lead to a recurrence of the symptoms of the mental health disorder that you just got treated for.

Through an integrated dual diagnosis treatment program, you can get the help that you need to overcome all the disorders that you have been struggling with. These programs are often available on an inpatient and an outpatient basis.

In an inpatient treatment center - the most recommended form of recovery for dual diagnosis - you will receive integrated treatment while living inside the rehabilitation facility. This will reduce your risk of a relapse because you will be completely removed from the external environment.

An outpatient treatment facility, on the other hand, can also offer you similar integrated treatment services. however, it is only recommended if you have already been through an inpatient treatment center or are not struggling with severe substance abuse and mental health disorders.

The important thing is to look for the most qualified center in Pennsylvania that can provide you with the integrated dual diagnosis treatment and rehabilitation services that you need to get started on the road to full recovery.

Learning what treatment is best for you or your loved one is easy. Speak to one of our trained counselors and let them guide you to the best treatment options available for your specific needs.


Cities with Drug Rehab Centers in Pennsylvania

Organizations We Support